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Pictured at the official opening of the new dressing room facilities at Active Ennis Tim Smythe Park on Tuesday, 5th October, 2021, were (l-r): Cllr Ann Norton, Mayor of Ennis Municipal District; Maura Neylon and Michael Smythe, after whose father Tim Smythe Park was named; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; and Cllr PJ Ryan, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council. Photograph by Eamon Ward

Family thrilled at what has been done in the name of their father

THE family of the late Tim Smythe has described the development of a new dressing room building at the Ennis park which bears his name as “amazing”.
On Tuesday the new development, costing in the region of €500,000, was officially launched by the local authority at Tim Smythe Park.
Michael Smythe, son of the late athlete and politician, told The Clare Champion he believes his father would have been thrilled at what has been done in his name.
“It is absolutely amazing. He was never a person that sought out thanks or praise, but he would absolutely have been happy with this.
“The dressing rooms are just a fantastic addition to what has already been done here. I remember when I used to come here to play with Lifford, this is just so amazing to see.”
Michael, now based in the US, added that his father would have been particularly delighted with the park’s running track.
“That was his love of course. All of my friends, when they come to Clare I send them to Tim Smythe Park. My father would have been absolutely delighted with what has been done here. He wouldn’t believe it that all of this has been done in his name.”
His sister Maura Neylon added, “It is a great privilege for us to see the improvements that have been made to what was originally the Fair Green and to know that it has been called Tim Smythe Park.
“We are really very proud and so grateful to everybody involved in all of this.”
The new building has two dressing rooms with showers, a multi-purpose room, male and female toilets and a universally accessible toilet compliant with ‘Changing Places’ policy.
This development is primarily funded by monies ring-fenced by Ennis Town Council prior to its abolition and the development is also part funded with a Sports Capital grant from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media with the balance of funding from Clare County Council. The project contractor was Jada Construction.
Mayor of Ennis Councillor Ann Norton told those gathered at the launch it was “a fantastic day”. She particularly welcomed the inclusion of facilities for people with disabilities in the development.
“No doubt Tim Smythe himself would be extremely proud of the facilities that are here today and it’s a great honour to have his children with us to see what has been achieved.”
She described the development as “a long time coming” adding, “It is going to be used by so many people. We have young people, older persons and now people with disabilities will be able to use these facilities.
“We are extremely lucky to have Active Ennis and all of the facilities that we have not alone in Ennis but across the county.”
She praised all those involved in bringing the project to fruition and those who work to oversee and maintain sporting facilities.
She also acknowledged the former Ennis Town Council for enabling the delivery of the project through the ring-fencing of funding prior to its abolition.
Siobhan McNulty, senior executive officer, Housing Department, also expressed appreciation for those who have supported the project.
“We started on this journey a number of years ago and got Sports Capital Funding in 2017. This comes at last after much delay due to Covid and now we have a beautiful facility for the people of Clare available as and from next week.”
Booking of these facilities will be through www.activeennis.ie or by contacting 065-6821604.

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